A "Stupid Lack of Clarity": On Kendi's Definitions of Racist and Antiracist


Near the beginning of his huge bestseller How to Be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi says, “Some of my most consequential steps toward being an antiracist have been the moments when I arrived at basic definitions. To be an antiracist is to set lucid definitions of racism/antiracism, racist/antiracist policies, racist/antiracist ideas, racist/antiracist people” (p. 17). Unfortunately, for those who wish to be antiracists, Kendi’s definitions are anything but lucid. In fact, they are quite murky. This is particularly the case with respect to Kendi’s definitions of racist and antiracist.

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Peter Bornschein
Eastern Michigan University


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